The Lancet’s Retracted COVID-19 Study And What It Says About Treating a New Disease: Part II


The debate surrounding possible COVID-19 treatment hydroxychloroquine remains as vicious as ever. In the previous portion of our two-part series on The Lancet‘s ill-fated study, we examined how a lack of available data led to the study being retracted. While this research previously attracted the most attention, other studies still cast doubt on whether the drug is worth pursuing as a treatment option.

Alternate Research

The Lancet is far from the only publication to examine the role of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 treatment. Several other studies also highlight how this drug could be used to assist vulnerable patients — and how it might cause further harm.

One especially notable study features an authoritative statement from Oxford epidemiologist Martin Landray, who insists that hydroxychloroquine does not reduce the risk of death in COVID-19 patients. As is usually the case with emerging science, however, opposing viewpoints exist. Yale School of Public Health’s Harvey Risch, for example, believes that hydroxychloroquine could make a difference if used in tandem with other medications.

How Different Opinions Will Influence the Use of Hydroxychloroquine

Conflicting opinions are to be expected when researching a new disease such as COVID-19. The novel nature of the virus limits access to verifiable research. As such, experts continue to examine the issue of hydroxychloroquine. Even with the retraction of The Lancet‘s article, the drug appears too risky to provide any public guarantees of a cure.